By Michael Berry,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Gripping tale of documented teen and his migrant family.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Indivisible takes a close look at the plight of undocumented residents of New York City.
Families should stay together in times of trouble. Teens should not be expected be the head of a household without any training. It's OK to ask for help if you need it.
Positive Role Models
Mateo does everything possible to protect his family after his parents are deported. He works at the bodega, looks after his sister, tries to stay ahead of schoolwork. He's gay, as is his best friend Adam. Another good friend, Kimmie, is half-Korean (the other half is not specified) and dates a Black musician. The secondary characters reflect the diversity of New York City.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mateo and his friend Adam develop a romantic relationship, which includes mostly kissing and hand-holding. His friend Kimmie asks him to help her take a home pregnancy test.
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Infrequent swearing: "s---ty," "damn," "hell," each two or three times.
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Products & Purchases
Mateo desperately wants to see Hamilton.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens drink wine coolers and buy beers for themselves.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Indivisible chronicles a family's experience as undocumented workers. Author Daniel Aleman meticulously portrays the process many migrants must suffer through. There's infrequent strong language ("s---ty," "hell," "damn") and teens drink wine coolers and buy beers for themselves. Two boys have a romantic relationship with kissing and hand-holding. A teen girl uses a home pregnancy test.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
At the start of INDIVISIBLE, Mexican American high school junior Mateo works at his parents' bodega in New York City. One day when Papa is away, two ICE agents come looking for Mateo's father. Meteo and his little sister Sophie hope the visit means nothing, but soon the family is threatened with deportation. Mateo and Sophie can stay for a while with a family friend, but before long they wear out their welcome. Sophie becomes increasingly depressed, and Mateo must make some hard choices about his family's safety and happiness.
Is It Any Good?
Immigration is a hot topic, and this heart-wrenching saga of one family's struggle as migrants is exciting and realistic. Daniel Aleman paints a well-detailed portrait of New York City, by turns magical and harrowing. Meteo, his sister, and their friends and family are brought vividly to life. The choices available to Mateo are difficult, but he faces them with courage and empathy. This novel is rich in incident and relatable to a wide range of readers. Aleman makes an impressive debut.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Indivisible portrays the issue of immigration in the U.S. Should everyone who wants to live here be allowed to do so? Should children be separated from their undocumented parents?
Why are some parents eager to have their children take over the family business? Why don't such arrangements always work out?
How would you feel if a close friend told you they were romantically interested in you?
- Author: Daniel Aleman
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Activism, Brothers and Sisters, Great Boy Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Little Brown and Company
- Publication date: May 4, 2021
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 18
- Number of pages: 400
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 28, 2021
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Read
Our Editors Recommend
Kids' Books About the Immigrant Experience
Books with Latino Characters
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